Tuesday, June 24, 2014

KOMAJ ( Persian Bread )

This is a Persian bread with turmeric and cumin flavours stuffed with dates. Both these spices are extensively used in Indian cooking and the bread rolls tasted so flavorful, one of the best bread rolls that I have ever tasted.find any other information about it. The recipe is taken from Greg and Lucy Malouf’s book, Saraban – A Chef’s Journey Through Persia, and here’s what they have to say about Komaj.
“This is our interpretation of a wonderful savoury–sweet bread we tasted in the oasis town of Mahan in the south-east of Iran. Cumin is grown in abundance in the region and is used to flavour many of the local dishes, often in combination with turmeric. “
They usually make these breads in the heart shape in Iran. I have made some in the heart shape and some round ones.
Here goes the recipe :

For the dough:
Flour ( all purpose flour or self raising flour ) .... 3 and 3/4 cups
Active dry yeast ..... 1 tsp
Warm water ... 1/8 cup
Cumin seeds ... 2 and 1/2 tsps (roasted and slightly crushed)
Sugar ... 1/4 cup
Turmeric powder ... 1/2 tsp
Salt ....... 1/2 tsp
Egg ... 1 (optional)
Warm milk ... 2/3 cups
Olive oil ... 1 and 1/2 tbsps

 For the filling:
Dates ... 12 - 15 ( Pitted and cut into pieces)
Butter ...25 gms (unsalted at room temperature)
Cardamom powder ... 1/2 tsp


Take 1/8 cup warm water and add 1 tbsp sugar. Sprinkle the yeast and leave it in the warm place for about 8-10 mins until it becomes frothy.

Mix the turmeric and crushed cumin seeds into the flour (save a tsp of cumin seeds for sprinkling on top) Knead into a dough adding the olive oil, salt and remaining sugar with warm milk. Also add egg if you are using it. I did not add in the dough but used the egg white for glazing.

After kneading, shape the dough into a ball and place it in the oiled bowl. Cover it and set it aside in a warm place to rise until double.(about an hour or so. In winter it may take longer)

Remove the dough, deflate it, knead it again for a few minutes.

 Shape it into a ball and again set it aside for a second rise until double.

In the meanwhile prepare the filling by mixing the butter, dates and cardamom powder.

Remove the dough after it is risen the second time. Divide into 8 portions first.

Roll out into a longer rectangular strip about 1/4" - 1/8" thick. Spoon a littlle filling in the bottom portion, brush the surface with water and fold it over the filling. Make sure to seal them well because they swell and open up during the baking process.

Cut it into any shape using a cookie cutter. Place them on a greased tray or butter paper leaving enough space between them

Repeat the same with the rest of the dough. You can make use of the dough left out from the cuttings also to make more rolls using different shape cookie cutters.

Let them sit for about 15 minutes. Brush them with milk or egg white and sprinkle the remaining cumin powder over them. Press it lightly to stick.

Bake them at 200 degrees C for about 10 - 12 minutes, checking in between. The time and temperature varies a bit depending on the type and size of your oven.Cool them on the rack. They can be served with tea. They taste better when fresh but you can refrigerate them and re-heat a little before serving.

This quantity makes about 10 - 12 Komaj

(Adapted from Saraban – A Chef’s Journey Through Persia by Greg & Lucy Malouf) http://www.amazon.in/Saraban-Chefs-Journey-through-Persia/dp/1742705138

Made for  Aparna's We Knead to Bake # 18 Komaj @ My Diverse Kitchen

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Monday, June 23, 2014


Kothu Parotta is very famous street food in the Southern states of India, specially Kerala and Tamilnadu. Kothu Parotta literally means chopped up rotis. It is somewhat like bhurji. Chopped up rotis are sauteed alnong with onions, tomatoes and spices. Non vegetarians love to add eggs and chicken. It is an amazing sight when you watch it being made in the streets ( with that "Tak Tak " noise made with the metal  spatula ) on a huge tawa , and all the ingredients being added one by one. You can use any left-over parathas. I have used ready made wraps to make it.

Parottas / roti s/ wraps .... 3-4
Eggs ................... 2 (optional)
Onion ........ 1 large ( 1 cup )
Tomato ..... 1
Ginger ... 1 tsp
Garlic .... 1 tsp
Green chillies .. 2
Coriander leaves .. handful
Curry leaves ... 1 sprig
Mustard seeds .. 1 tsp
Turmeric powder .. 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder .. 1 tsp
Red chilli powder .... 1/2 tsp

1. Cut the parottas or wraps into small strips or pieces.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan and add oil. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves.
3. When they crackle add the ginger garlic and onion. Saute until translucent.
4. Now add the chopped tomatoes and stir-fry until they are cooked.
5. Next add the parotta pieces, salts and the spice powders. Sprinkle a little water to cook.
6. Meanwhile in a separate pan make the scrambles eggs and mix them into the cooking parottas.
7. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

Note: You can also add the eggs directly in the same pan as they do in the street shops but I prefer this way. There is no end to variations. Vegetarians can add any vegetables of their choice to make it more sumptuous. Non vegetarians have a choice of adding cooked and left over curries and kormas. You can go ahead and experiment with various masalas like sambar powder, chicken masala, pav bhaji masala etc etc ..

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Pasta is such a versatile dish which can be created with a twist in any way to suit your palate and taste buds. I try it out  in so many different ways each time. Today I have made it with South Indian tadka.. upma style.

Macaroni ... 1 cup
Onion ...... 1 ( about half cup  finely chopped)
Green chillies ... 1-2
Coriander leaves .. handful
Salt .. to taste
Turmeric powder .. 1/8 tsp

For Tempering:
Asafoetida .. a pinch
Mustard seeds .. 1 tsp
Cumin seeds .... 1 tsp
Curry leaves ... few
Oil ... 2-3 tbsps


1. Take 3-4 cups of water in a pan. When it starts boiling add salt and 1 tbsp oil to it.
2. Tip in the macaroni and after 2-3 boils switch off the gas and cover the lid.
3. After 12 - 15 minutes open the lid and the macaroni will be puffed up and ready for use. Drain the excess water using a strainer.
4. Heat the remaining oil in a pan and add the tempering ingredients.
5. When they crackle, add the onion, green chillies, turmeric and little salt. Saute.
6. When it is translucent, add the macaroni and mix
7. Add the chopped coriander leaves and serve hot immediately. You can serve it with garlic bread.

Note: You can go ahead and add anything as per your taste, more chillies, ginger, garlic, spices, a squeeze of lime juice.... anything.

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This is a kind of fusion dish I would say and a nice way of using the left over rotis.... a slight variation from the usual roti upmas and masala rotis. Just roll the rotis and cut them into thin strips. Make use of any vegetables or chicken that you prefer and just toss them in a sauce pan with a simple tempering and marination. A tasty fusion dish is ready in a jiffy.

Chicken (boneless)... 100gms (optional)
Rotis ...... 3-4
Red capsicum / bell pepper ... as needed
Green capsicum / bell pepper .. as needed
Carrot ...... half
Spring onions ... 2 sprigs
Garlic paste ... 1 tsp
Soy sauce .. 2 -3 tsps
Chilli sauce .. 2 tsps
Salt .. to taste
Oil .. 2 tbsps

1. Cut the chicken into thin strips and marinate with a little soy sauce and garlic paste.
2. Roll the rotis and cut them into long strips.
3. Cut the bell peppers and carrot into thin juliennes.
4. In a pan, heat the oil and stir fry the marinated chicken strips.
5. Now add the vegetables and saute a little. The vegetables should not be overcooked. Keep them crunchy.
6. Tip in the roti strips and add a little salt, say and chilli sauces.
7. Add the chopped spring onions. Stir well to mix.
Serve hot.

Note :You may also add any other vegetables of your choice, scrambled eggs to replace the chicken... or make them just veg.

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Sunday, June 22, 2014


Today I had made Upma for breakfast and had a bowl ful of leftovers. Usually we make pesarettu with upma stuffing. I thought let me try out a sandwich today. It was really very delicious. I just added a little finely chopped onions and coriander leaves which you can even skip. I am sure kids would love these sandwiches.

Upma .... 1 small bowl
Onion ..... 2 tbsps (finely chopped)
Coriander leaves .. 2 tbsps (finely chopped)
Bread slices ...... as needed
Butter ....... to spread on the bread (optional - I did not use as there is oil in the upma)
Tomato ketchup ... to serve with the sandwiches.

1. Spread the upma on the bread slices and add finely chopped onion and coriander leaves on top.

2. Place another slice on top and toast them in a sandwich toaster.

3. Cut them and serve hot with tomato ketchup.

How to make Upma
(Click on the name to see the recipes)

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Saturday, June 21, 2014


Healthy masala poori made with multigrain flour can be reslished by itself with curd and pickle.

Whole wheat flour ... 1 cup
Multigrain flour ...... 1/2 cup
Besan / gram flour .. 2 tbsps
Rice flour ........... 1 tbsp
Sesame seeds ..... 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder .. 1/2 tsp (add more if you like)
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Garam masala ..... 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves .... handful ( finely chopped)
Salt ... to taste
Oil .... for frying


1. Knead all the ingredients adding a tsp of oil and sufficient water to make a soft dough.

2. Cover it with a damp cloth and set aside for 15 - 20 mins.

3. Make lemon sized balls and roll into thick pooris. Apply oil on the rolling pin to avoid the dough from sticking. ( meanwhile keep the remaining dough covered with the damp cloth )

4. Deep fry the pooris to a golden brown colour.
Serve hot with pickles and curd.

Recipe source : Foodelicious

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Thursday, June 12, 2014


Delicious crispy and spicy karela chips.. I have been wanting to make these ever since I tasted them during  my last visit to Mumbai. These awesomely crunchy munchies can be relished as a snack or served with sambar rice / dal chawal as a side dish.

Karelas ... 2-3 (sliced Finely)
Salt ... to taste
Rice flour .. 2 tbsps
Red chilli powder .. 1 tsp
Cumin powder or garam masala or chat masala .. to sprinkle on top.
Oil ... to deep fry


1. Wash the karelas and slice them finely with the skin.

2. Sprinkle the rice flour, salt and red chilli powder on them and mix well.

3. Heat oil in a pan / kadai and tip in the karela slices in 2 or 3 batches depending on the size of the pan..First fry on high flame and reduce it.

4. Keep turning them and fry until they are crispy. During the process you have increase and decrease the heat a few times to get the perfect  crunchiness. Drain out on a paper towel. Sprinkle cumin powder or garam masala or if you like chat masala on top.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

ALOO PARATHA ( with flax seeds)

Aloo paratha is something that everyone loves. Today I have added flax seeds powder in addition to the usual spice powders and methi dhaniya leaves.

Potatoes ... 4-5
Flax seeds powder .. 1 tbsp
Kasoori methi ......... 1 tbsp (you can add fresh methi if you have)
Coriander leaves .. handful
Green chillies .. 1-2 (finely chopped)
salt .... to taste
Garam masala powder .. 1 tsp
Turmeric powder .... 1/4 tsp
Amchoor powder .... 1/4 tsp
Wheat flour .... 2-3 cups (or as needed)
Oil or ghee .. for making parathas.

1. Boil the potatoes and mash them
2. Add the spice powders, salt,flax seeds powder, coriander and kasoori methi.
3. Knead the wheat flour adding a little salt and 1 tbsp. of oil to make a soft dough. ( if the dough is not soft the filling comes out while rolling )
4. Roll out a portion of the dough, place the filling and seal the edges like a bundle.
5. Roll it carefully with light hands.
6. Make the parathas on the griddle spooning a little oil or desi ghee.
Serve hot with pickle , curd or chutney.

Tip: If the filling comes out while rolling then try making with two rotis. Roll out 2 small rotis. Spread the filling and seal the edges aroud the roti with your finget tips. Roll the paratha again carefully.

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